The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued notices to the Union Government and the Election Commission of India (ECI) to file their replies on a petition regarding regulation and monitoring of poll expenditure of political parties, said a release by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), the petitioner. The next date for hearing is on August 28, 2014.

The petition, filed by ADR, seeks a process of regular submission of poll expenditure statements by political parties commencing a year prior to the actual polling date till the results are declared.

As seen in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, political parties start their campaign much before the polls, ADR said in a release.

At present, while there is a cap on expenditure by candidates, there is no limit on the election expenditure of political parties. As a result, it is very difficult to ascertain the actual amount of money spent during the election campaign.

“The current practice of submitting election expenditure statements after 75 and 90 days of elections for Assembly and Lok Sabha elections, respectively, serv​es​​ no purpose because monitoring and keeping a tab on the election expenditure after 75/90 days is a herculean task,” said ADR.

In the petition, the ADR has suggested that recommendations made by the 170th Law Commission Report on Electoral Reforms be implemented, a ceiling be introduced on the poll spending of political parties on and during the elections, all political parties be asked to submit expenditure statements, beginning one year prior to the elections, among other things.

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